Mavericks vs. Cavaliers Prediction: Mavs Searching for Top-Six Seed

Written by: Grant Mitchell
Published February 27, 2024
6 min read

The Cleveland Cavaliers (37-19) will play host to the Dallas Mavericks (33-24) as both teams look to get back to winning ways when they meet in Ohio on Tuesday night.

The Cavs lost three of their last five games after ripping off 18 wins in 20 games just before the All-Star break. However, they’re still second in the Eastern Conference and 10-5 against Western Conference opponents, and they already beat Dallas 113-110 on Dec. 27.

The Mavs had their seven-game win streak snapped by the Indiana Pacers on Sunday, but not through any fault of their stars. Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving combined for 62 points, 11 rebounds, and eighth assists, and are consistently playing at an extremely high level.

Here, we will go over the odds and share our favorite pick for the Mavericks vs. Cavaliers matchup.

Mavericks vs Cavaliers Prediction

Mavericks vs. Cavaliers Betting Odds for Tuesday, Feb. 27

The Cavs are favored by 4.5 points on their home floor. As impressive as they played, they’re only 28-26-2 (51.9%) against the spread and 11-10-1 (52.4%) ATS at home. They also did not cover in five straight games.

The Mavs are 30-27 (52.6%) ATS but just 5-7 (41.7%) ATS as a road underdog. They covered in six of their last eight games and three of five since they made a couple of moves near the trade deadline.  

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Teams Spread Moneyline Total
Dallas Mavericks +4.5 (-110) +150 Over 232.5 (-110)
Cleveland Cavaliers -4.5 (-110) -185 Under 232.5 (-110)
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Mavericks vs. Cavaliers Prediction

Dallas Mavericks Preview

The Mavericks are a relatively simple team. They have two outstanding creators in Doncic and Irving who can get buckets in a hurry or set up their teammates with relative ease. They’re surrounded by specialists, whether they be shooters, rebounders, or defenders, and have no issues when it comes to players knowing their roles on the team.

Although Dallas was a decent team earlier in the year, the additions of P.J. Washington and Daniel Gafford drastically improved their ceiling. They rank fifth in net rating and have a top-four defense in the five games the pair played in blue and white and are better in the pick-and-roll, on the boards, and with their defensive activity.

During the same five-game stretch, Dallas ranks top-10 in offensive and defensive efficiency, rebound rate, three-point percentage, and true shooting percentage. They also continue to be close to unstoppable down the stretch of close games with a clutch net rating of +23.5, second only to the Los Angeles Clippers.

As much as the team is really gelling, the Mavs’ hot streak has also been fueled by the elite play of its star guards. Irving averaged 27.3 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 5.4 assists on 45.6% three-point shooting, while Doncic posted 32.4 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 9.2 assists on 40.4% from deep during February.  

Offense is only half the battle, but the pair have also been up to the task defensively. Luka in particular is having a quietly great defensive year, while Irving allowed just .56 points per isolation possession—fewer than Anthony Edwards and Jonathan Isaac.

Although Dallas already lost to the Cavs by three points at home, this new version of its team looks like the real deal and is playing great basketball. 

Cleveland Cavaliers Preview

It’s tough to find a team that played better basketball than the Cavaliers over the last month and change.

Cleveland ranks fifth in net rating (+9.4) during February thanks to an improving offense and the league’s second-ranked defense (110.4 points allowed per 100 possessions). They’re also a top-10 rebounding team thanks to the Jarrett Allen-Evan Mobley frontcourt pairing and have an MVP-level scorer in Mitchell that can drag them over the finish line in close games.

Although Cleveland’s offense has been better with more continuity, it ranks middle of the road, 15th, in three-point percentage during February (37.1%). Dallas shot 39.9% during that time, for comparison.

One of the Cavs’ biggest challenges will be keeping one on the ball as long as they can while also hounding the three-point line. So far, they held opponents to 36% from deep and the eighth-fewest makes per game.

Cleveland’s bench was to hold serve more times than not, averaging a scoring differential of +0.8 points per 100 possessions when the starters were off the court. Dallas is -0.2 for the year but +2.5 since their recent acquisitions.

Mitchell only played one game since the All-Star break, going for 16 points and picking up five fouls in 36 minutes against the Washington Wizards on Sunday. Meanwhile, Darius Garland averaged only 13.6 points during February but improved that to 17.6 and 8.4 assists over his last five games.  

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Mavericks vs. Cavaliers Betting Pick

Both teams have their selling points. Dallas is probably more talented but doesn’t have Cleveland’s size, and their honeymoon is nothing compared to the consistency the Cavs produced for most of the year.

The backcourt play is going to be key in this game, especially down the stretch. It’s tough to envision either one of these teams getting blown out, but the Cavs are going to want to have the lead heading into the final minutes given the Mavericks have been a top-two clutch team on the year.

Because Dallas is catching the points, we like them to cover the spread. This is just their second game on the road with their new-look roster, but the Cavs’ defense has actually been worse at home, and we trust Irving and Doncic to continue their excellent play.

How to Watch Mavericks vs. Cavaliers

  • When: Tuesday, Feb. 27 @ 7:000 p.m. ET

  • Where: Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, Cleveland, OH

  • TV: NBA League Pass

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Grant Mitchell

Sports Betting Analyst & On-Air Host

Online Sports Betting
Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself on delivering breaking news and insightful analyses of the industry. Grant graduated from Virginia Tech in 2021 and is feverishly pursuing his ambitions in the sports betting field. In his free time, Grant can be found passionately watching sports, doing a workout, or searching for adventure with his friends.
Nationality: American
Education: Bachelor in Sports Media and Analytics
Favourite Sportsbook: Caesars Sportsbook
Favourite Casino: FanDuel Casino
4 years
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